Which former Duke basketball stars appear the readiest to shine in Orlando?
A program-record 25 Duke basketball alums have played an NBA game this season — not counting former outbound transfer Semi Ojeleye — second only to the 27 from Kentucky. Now, with injuries to Marvin Bagley III, Justise Winslow, Rodney Hood, and Kyrie Irving, only 15 are expected participants among the 22 teams at the Walt Disney World Resort. But add in Lance Thomas, who hasn’t played this season yet recently joined the Brooklyn Nets.
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This ranking spotlights those 16 Blue Devils and provides the schedules for their teams’ remaining eight outings in the shortened regular season, running Thursday through Aug. 14 (a full playoff slate, to include eight squads from each conference, will begin on Aug. 17 at the same location).
In terms of where the Duke basketball names fall here, view it as a snapshot of their individual outlooks heading back into competition. Which spot each player sits on this list — starting at No. 16 until we reach the top Dukie of the bunch — depends on 1) his proven production before the season halted, 2) his performance in the scrimmages that began last week, 3) the anticipated size of his role in Orlando, and 4) his franchise’s chances at a postseason run.
OK, time to tip this off with a look at dead last, but a fella who has a unique opportunity to re-establish himself in The Association nonetheless…